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With Mitt Romney now on board the "Obama is attacking Catholics" train, is he actually going to be able to sway Catholics onto his side? Romney has joined attacks on the new rules the administration has created, requiring that employers and insurance companies provide coverage for prescription birth control with no-copay, with an exemption for religious institutions who's primary mission in ministering to people of faith.

New polling from the nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute suggests that Catholics are a-okay with that rule.

prri poll
A majority (55%) of Americans agree that “employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost.” Four-in-ten (40%) disagree with this requirement. [...]

Roughly 6-in-10 Catholics (58%) believe that employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception.

Given the fact that 98 percent of Catholic women who've had sex are using birth control, and 99 percent of American women are using it, support for its coverage by insurance companies shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone other than maybe Rick Santorum (or Mitt Romney, depending on which day of the week it is).

The sliver of people who are offended by the idea of health insurance policies—which people pay for, with their own money—having to cover contraception is small. And extreme. And unfortunately, heavily male. "Women are significantly more likely than men to agree that employers should be required to provide health care plans that cover contraception (62% vs. 47% respectively)."

Fighting President Obama over contraceptive coverage might be a great way for Republicans to fire up their base, but it's not going to have much appeal when the primary is over.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 09:17 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos and Pro Choice.

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